La maquina cementera has rolled over their competition in the last seven games with the only blemish being a 0-0 against Monterrey in week 1. Since then, the Azulinos have left a trail of goals that put them at the top of the league table in the Clausura 2014. However, this week they face their toughest opponent to date, Toluca FC.
Cruz Azul will host the "Red Devils" at the Azul Stadium on Saturday, Mar. 1, 2014 in week 9. Toluca are just three points behind the maquina and are on a three game winning streak. The chorizeros’ last victim was Chivas de Guadalajara. Despite the win, it was a tough contest with both teams playing to 0-0 until the 89th minute when Isaac Brizuela put Toluca ahead 1-0 at the Nemesio Diez Stadium.
The Azulinos will be hosting at the Azul where they have won their three games so far this season outscoring their opponents 7-1. They have not conceded a goal on home turf since week 2. In week 8 Cruz Azul destroyed Queretaro FC 3-1, team that was going through a good pace at the time of the game.
Queretaro managed to put the ball in the net first, but gave up three by the end. Once the maquina cementera gained momentum, they were unstoppable and dominated the game. Once they get rolling, it seems there is nothing to stop Coach Luis Fernando Tena’s players on the pitch.
Mauro Formica and Marco Fabian are firing on all cylinders, with Cristian “Chaco” Gimenez starting to get more minutes on the field. Cruz Azul can also welcome the fact that Peru 2005 U-17 champion Pablo Barrera is recovering well and should be back to training with the first squad at the La Noria training grounds in the next couple of days. These players make a difference on the field and their full incorporation will give Cruz Azul a bigger advantage over their opponents.
Toluca are impressing with Paraguayan Pablo Velasquez on attack. The chorizeros striker is currently in the second position in the goal scoring table. Despite this lead, he was not successful in scoring against Chivas’ defense last game which means that a tough marker could keep him from getting through. The Cruz Azul defense will have to be on the lookout for a counter-attack from the speedy South American.
The game is the most attractive of the week with both teams well ahead of their closest rivals. Toluca has a 5 point lead over Pumas UNAM. A loss by either team would really not change the leaderboard. However, a surprise loss by the Azulinos could have the chorizeros jump over them to take over at the top La Liga MX.
exciting four goal match in week two of Liga MX, Toluca and Morelia split the points at the Nemesio
Diez stadium in Toluca. Carlos Morales and Christina Valdez gave the visitors
the lead on two occasions, while Antonio Naelson “Sinha” and Pablo Velazquez
both equalized for the home side.
It was the visiting Morelia who got off to a fast start trying to make up for their surprise season opening loss to Queretaro. New signing Duvier Riascos set up Carlos Morales to open up the scoring in the fourth minute of play.
The joy did not last long for Morelia as veteran midfielder Antonio Naelson “Sinha” tied the game for the home side two minutes later.
Morelia kept attacking and had a ball bounce off the post after a Felipe Baloy header in the 13th minute. Carlos Esquivel came close to scoring for the Toluca in the 25th minute as his shot graced the post on its way out.
Morelia re-took the lead minutes before halftime as Christian “Recodo” Valdez chested down a cross field pass and shot the ball into the upper corner of the goal for the 1-2 score in favor of the visitors.
Early in the second half Aldo Leao was called for a foul inside of the box and Toluca were awarded a penalty kick. Last season’s golden boot winner, Pablo Velazquez, converted the penalty shot into the equalizing goal for the home side.
In the 66th Valdez missed an opportunity to net a brace as he slipped through two Toluca defenders to enter the box, but his shot was just off target and the score remained level. Later on in the 77th minute Toluca goalkeeper Alferdo Talavera did a fantastic job to deny Morelia striker Hector Mancilla.
Toluca was able to survive the visitor’s constant attacks and hang on to earn a point at home. In week three of the Clausura 2014 season of LIGA Bancomer MX, Toluca will visit Pumas UNAM on Sunday afternoon, while Morelia will host Tigres on Friday night.